Boone Council snuffs out smoking around town buildings

Article Published: Dec. 23, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

The new Boone Town Council approved a smoking ordinance that takes effect the same day a new state law will ban most indoor smoking.

The Boone Town Council welcomed two new members during Thursday's meeting, as Andy Ball and Jamie Leigh were sworn in before officially taking their seats. Mayor Loretta Clawson was also sworn in for her third term. Rennie Brantz had been sworn in earlier this month.

The council recognized outgoing council members Liz Aycock and Janet Pepin. Council member Lynne Mason was elected to continue as mayor pro tempore.

Town attorney Sam Furgiuele presented a draft of a smoking ordinance to augment the state's ban of workplace smoking, and it would also apply to any public entrances on town-owned sidewalks. The ordinance would create a six-foot radius from town buildings in which smoking would be prohibited. Smoking would also be banned in any town park or garden, the grounds of the Jones House Community Center, and within any area designated non-smoking by the owner or tenant of private property.

The ordinance would also prohibit smoking in enclosed public places unless separately designated and ventilated areas were provided.

Violations are subject to a warning, with a $50 fine after that, as regulated by the Appalachian District Health Department. The ordinance takes effect Jan. 2, 2010.

Public works director Blake Brown presented price quotes on trash cans, bike racks, benches and recycling stations. He said using larger trash cans would reduce the overall number of cans downtown, at a cost of around $19,750. The entire streetscape budget is $40,000.

Brown said there might be additional costs if the King Street streetscape is different from the proposed improvements to Howard Street, which currently is proposed to get wooden amenities. Town manager Greg Young said the electrical design for street lights might require more engineering work since the streetlights are different in each plan.

The council members discussed using a mixture of small and large trash cans in different areas of downtown. Brown said the recommendations would go to the Community Appearance Commission and be presented to the council again in January.

Council member Lynne Mason said one of the recommendations emerging from a recent parking charette was to create a temporary parking committee. The council created a 12-member committee from various downtown factions, with a four-month window to make recommendations.

The council received a grant application request of $25,000 for technical assistance to develop an energy plan for the town's physical plant. The council also approved a $48,000 bid from the National Committee for the New River to monitor water in Winkler's Creek.

The council voted to release $4,000 in Rural Center grant funds to Boone Housing Authority to cover contracting costs association with a water interconnection to Appalachian State University.

Brown presented information on the town's newest recycling center near Horn in the West, saying 15.9 tons of materials had been collected in a few months. "The pilot program has been a success so far," Brown said, noting a cost of $5,600 to continue the program through June.

Brown said there had been few complaints, and the program had been in response to a state ban on plastic bottles in landfills. The council voted for a budget amendment to continue the program for the rest of the fiscal year.

The council said the Boone Board of Adjustment, Tree Board and Community Appearance Commission had vacancies and is seeking volunteers.

Water and sewer director Rick Miller reported a peak daily water demand of 1.785 million gallons in November, compared to a peak daily demand of 2 million gallons in November 2008.

Average daily use last month was 1.61 million gallons, an 8.2 percent decrease over the same month in 2008, which Miller said was a trend that began early in the year. The town currently has 24,000 gallons per day available to allocate for new connections in 2010.

The Downtown Boone Development Association gave a report on its improvements since July, with DBDA director Tuesdae Rice saying the association was partnering with the North Carolina Main Street program and putting together new projects such as a ghost tour and additional promotions. Rice said business owners could now serve as DBDA board members in addition to property owners.

The council voted to extend a contract with DBDA to promote the downtown using municipal service tax district funds. The contract goes through June 30, 2010.

The council heard a water-connection request from Kuester Greenway LLC to construct two apartment buildings on Greenway Road. The council approved an allocation of 12,600 gallons per day for the project.

Council member Lennie Brantz was absent due to international travel.

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